How strong of an influence does a company’s sustainability strategy have on hiring? Does it make or break a candidate’s decision to accept a job offer, or is it simply a ‘nice-to-have’? Is it a top business priority or more so an afterthought? We’ve surveyed both candidates and employers to get their take. Here’s what they had to say…
The majority of candidates (55%) cite that a company’s commitment to environmental sustainability is very important to them, and companies agree, with 62% citing it as very important to their organisation. While both groups are aligned, how does environmental sustainability stack up in comparison to other business priorities, and is it as important to companies as they say it is?
Based on the results, before building out your environmental sustainability strategy, it’s important that you nail the basics first. Focusing on retaining and engaging your team members is key, be it through offering flexibility, a compelling EVP, or strong perks & benefits.
Environmental sustainability also plays into this - bring your people along for the journey, engage them in your sustainability mission, and listen to what they are asking for, to create a company culture that they want to be a part of. According to Talent’s Global Chief People Officer, Georgia Kelaher, “more than ever, we are all conscious of the environmental and social impact of ourselves and those around us. It’s no wonder our candidates and employees are passionate about real, tangible, and sustainable change. Leading the way with a compelling vision and strategy that addresses sustainability will retain and attract talent with an intrinsic motivation to do better, have an impact and see the bigger picture."
Dedicating time to your DEI efforts and integrating it into your hiring process is also important, and can play into your sustainability plans. By welcoming diverse perspectives and giving your people a seat at the table, you can implement initiatives that you may have never otherwise considered, ultimately driving positive change for the environment, delivering on what your people want, and fostering a culture of collaboration that will draw top talent in. For more insights and practical tips on how you can better integrate DEI into your hiring process, check out our DEI Hiring Toolkit.
For candidates, a company’s commitment to environmental sustainability is not simply a “nice-to-have”. Instead, it can be the deciding factor in whether they accept a job offer or not, with 84% of candidates strongly agreeing / agreeing that it’s important for them to work for a company that prioritises environmental sustainability. The majority (59%) also agree that it influences their decision to accept a job offer, however, most companies are neutral on the matter, with 39% neither agreeing or disagreeing that it has an impact on this decision. It’s clear that environmental sustainability is of greater importance to candidates than what companies expect, so to establish an edge in this candidate-short tech hiring market, you need to be attuned to what candidates are asking for. Forward-thinking companies know it’s now more than just offering flex work.
Does age have anything to do with what tech candidates are expecting from employers? Taking a deep dive into the data, environmental sustainability appears to be a higher priority for younger generations than older age groups, with 71% of respondents aged 18-24 (and sitting within Gen Z), strongly agreeing / agreeing with the statement “a company’s commitment to environmental sustainability influences my decision to accept a job with them”. This is compared to 49% of those aged 55-64 who strongly agree / agree with the same statement, and 41% of those aged 65-74 who strongly agree / agree.
According to a 2021 Deloitte survey, 'climate change / protecting the environment' was the top personal concern amongst Gen Zs (those born between 1995 and 2003), highlighting just how important environmental sustainability is to this group. As Gen Zs continue to enter the working world - according to McCrindle, by 2025, Gen Zs will make up 27% of the workforce - it’s more important than ever to be aware of their priorities and the shifting expectations of candidates in the market as we move into the future.